Mary took a pound of perfume worth a year’s wages, anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them clean with her hair.
With such a magnanimous gesture she left no room for doubt as to how she felt about Jesus and as such it is a beautiful moment. Her actions spoke much louder than any words she could have used.
The perfume was meant for his burial but she couldn’t wait until then, she wanted to show her feelings now while Jesus was still with them.
Doing and saying things while your loved ones are still with you is something we all put off all too frequently.
I suspect all of us, me included, can recall with regret all the things we could have said and should have said, things we could and should have done for people while they were still with us, but the moment never seemed right or we were too buttoned up and embarrassed to do or say anything.
So while we may have regrets about those things, there is nothing we can do about that now because those occasions are in the past and cannot be changed.
We can resolve to do and say these things in the near future. “We’ll say it tomorrow” we tell ourselves but in reality tomorrow never comes. It just avoids grasping the nettle.
Men in particular because of social conditioning as much as anything and a certain British reticence have the greatest difficulty in telling someone that they love them. We hope the other person will guess from our actions, just like Mary when she anointed Mary’s feet, though our actions are usually rather more mundane than that but I’m sure no less full of meaning.
I’ll bet there are a lot of people in all our lives who have never heard us express our deeper feelings for them, and perhaps never will because I’m not suggesting for a second that it is easy.
But a little courage goes a long way. The courage to lift the phone and talk to someone and establish contact after a long break or pointless argument. The courage to say “I love you” to someone who is so close to you that you hope they’ll already know that; and many do of course, but to hear it leaves no doubt.
The point is that Mary did what she did because she knew there wasn’t much time left. We always mistakenly think there is always plenty of time. But we never know what is just around the corner. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so by far the best option is to live in the present and do it or say now because you might not get another chance. Ever.